Benovia's Mike Sullivan Named Winery Co-Owner & Winemaker of the Year
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (November 21, 2018) – Benovia Winery, a small production, family-owned winery in the heart of the Russian River Valley, is pleased to announce the North Bay Business Journal, which covers the wine industry extensively, named Mike Sullivan Co-Owner & Winemaker of the Year as part of the publication’s 6th Annual Wine Industry Awards.
“I’m grateful and humbled to receive this honor for work that I’m so passionate about,” said Mike Sullivan, co-owner and winemaker at Benovia. “My main priority is to create wines that capture the essence of this place and this time, and for me, no wine reflects its place and time more than Pinot Noir. I’m also fortunate to work with an incredible team that assists me with achieving that goal.”
Located just east of the famed Russian River, Benovia produces some of the region’s most expressive Pinot Noir – grown on 72 acres of estate vineyards, owned and sustainably-farmed by the Benovia team. Benovia is popular with savvy, adventurous Pinot Noir enthusiasts who vie for its limited production single vineyard wines.
As winemaker and co-owner, Sullivan oversees Benovia’s entire production, from the estate vineyards through the winemaking and into the glass. Working in collaboration with Benovia’s vineyard manager Chris Kangas, Sullivan and his team farm 72 acres, which have been designed and planted to express his vision of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Sullivan does not follow a standard recipe for each wine, but instead really listens, and most importantly, understands, what is needed to bring everything together. All of Benovia’s estate vineyards are organically or sustainably certified.
Sullivan is a fifth-generation Californian who grew up in the Russian River Valley, working and thriving in the wine industry since age 18, when he began his career in Dick Arrowood’s cellar at Chateau St. Jean. He comes from a family of growers who own and farm the “Four Brothers” vineyard on Sonoma Mountain, and spent his summers there while pursuing his enology degree at Fresno State. Shortly after graduating, he served as assistant winemaker to the legendary Helen Turley at Landmark Vineyards, then at Chappellet. Sullivan’s talent and passion have been recognized with several other accolades, including being named “Wine Personality of the Year” by The Wine Advocate and "Winemaker of the Year” by Ronn Wiegand, MS and MW.
Despite losing his home in the October 2017 North Bay fires, Sullivan demonstrated his commitment to his work by finishing the remaining work during that harvest season. The wines he produces continue to garner critical acclaim and a number of accolades from top industry publications such as Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Under Sullivan’s guidance, Benovia was also named the Winery of the Year by Prince of Pinot wine critic Rusty Gaffney.
“Mary and I are so proud and want to congratulate Mike, who’s been our partner for 13 years and done incredible work,” said Joe Anderson, co-founder and chairman of Benovia. “He led the functional design of our new precision winery and has actively participated in strategic business decisions, all while making world-class wines.”
Sullivan will be honored by the North Bay Business Journal at an event on Tuesday, December 4 at the Doubletree in Rohnert Park from 4 to 6:30 p.m. For more information please visit www.BenoviaWinery.com or www.NorthBayBusinessJournal.com.
About Benovia Winery
Benovia Winery is a special, small production, family-owned winery in the heart of the Russian River Valley that specializes in sustainably farmed, single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Founded by husband and wife team Mary Dewane and Joe Anderson, Benovia was named after Mary and Joe’s fathers, Ben Dewane and Novian Anderson. Benovia owns and farms three distinctly different vineyards so as to present several nuanced wines in its portfolio. The wines are allocated directly to customers and distributed to select restaurants across the country.